Elaine Blair, Chris Kraus, Female Antihero, The New Yorker, November 21, 2016
She turned her failures as a filmmaker and in her romantic relationships into the boundary-breaking autobiographical novel “I Love Dick.”
“I Love Dick,” Kraus’s first book, was published in 1997 by the independent press Semiotext(e) and received little notice. Semiotext(e), founded in 1974 as a journal by Sylvère Lotringer, whom Kraus later married, was a shoestring operation that had a loyal following in the art world and some corners of academia for having introduced the French theorists Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault, and Paul Virilio to American readers. “I Love Dick” sold fewer than a hundred copies a year until it was reissued, in 2006. Through word of mouth and the endorsement of some influential writers and critics, a new generation of readers has discovered the novel. In 2013, Sheila Heti wrote, in The Believer, that “I Love Dick” belongs to the category of novels that “tear down so many assumptions about what the form can handle.” Last year, Lena Dunham gave a copy to the singer-songwriter Lorde, who Instagrammed its distinctive white cover. It has sold about fourteen thousand copies so far this year. In August, the director Jill Soloway released a pilot for a television show based on the novel.